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A Voice from our Lexible Learning Centre Community

29 May 2020

by Tiana Gordon

The Lexible Learning Centre is ThoughtRiver's education platform and user community. Lexible is the universal contract knowledge tree that underpins ThoughtRiver's automated contract review technology.

Our Learning Centre has been live for just under 3 months and we already have over 180 users on the platform, excited to learn more about Lexible, gain accreditation for their skills and connect with other users interested in this cutting edge legal technology.

How do I get accredited via The Lexible Learning Centre?

There are several tiers of Lexible accreditation to recognise user proficiency and mastery. The intial course “Introduction to ThoughtRiver and the Lexible Learning Centre” is open to everyone, and provides a basic insight into our technology and training platform. Subsequent tiers of accreditation are attained through online courses on the Learning Centre and training seminars conducted by our Lexible Consultants.

We held a webinar for around 100 law students on 1st May 2020 and asked the attendees to tell us a bit more about themselves, their roles within the legal industry and how AI has shaped their career thus far. It was lovely to hear from these upcoming legal professionals who are excited to be at the very forefront of innovation when it comes to legal tech. We presented them with a title and asked them to submit a blog post; the winner receiving an Amazon voucher. We loved hearing their personal accounts and there are a few snippets below, including the winner’s blog in full. The blog post was entitled – “‘My legal role in 2025 and how AI has helped to shape it”.

Thank you to all of those who took part and we look forward to learning and growing together as part of the Lexible community.

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Snippet 1: Gemma Cotton

"The prospect of 2025 makes members of the legal profession fearful. Too often is the concern that AI will replace the role of lawyers voiced by those with little knowledge of the field. In my view, an understanding of legal technology fostered by education will be key to how the role of a solicitor changes in the coming years. This short blog will therefore focus on the role that legal education can play in helping to shape the role that lawyers will have in 2025, rather than more typically using the term to create hype. Legal education, and more specifically legal technology training and awareness, will be vital to how the role of the lawyer in 2025 changes, rather than disappears".

Snippet 2: Lavanya Shankar

"It only feels like yesterday that the emergence of LegalTech became a ‘thing’ and we spoke of tomorrow’s lawyers in the future. I still remember all the ongoing debates of ‘are robots going to take over and replace human lawyers?’ ‘Are we going to have robotic lawyers?’ or will it create more legal job opportunities and will be ‘better off’?

We now belong to a world where we can’t imagine life without technology as cliché as that sounds – it’s the new reality. I mean do you ever not see someone have their eyes glued to their smart phone or tablet screens? The administration of justice and practice of law are highly dependent on the internet and AI technology. Conventional lawyers known back in the days are not as prominent as before and our clients love how they get access to cheaper legal services supported by smart systems and undertaken by less human expertise. BUT, don’t worry! There is still hope at the end of the tunnel and human lawyers still do exist! Although, it doesn’t signal the end of lawyers completely but it does show less need for fewer traditional lawyers. Simultaneously, AI plays a more central role in law which has opened up significant forms of legal services; making lawyers like us to be more flexible, open-minded and entrepreneurial in adapting to today’s changing market conditions".

And the winning entry by Elspeth Mardaljevic:

"My legal role in 2025 and how AI has helped to shape it”

"What will 2025 look like for a legal professional? Consider this. You stroll to your work as soft-drink advertisements flicker on neighbouring skyscrapers. As you reach your desk the Coffee Bot 9000 chirps a greeting and trundles over to provide your morning caffeine fix. You switch on the news, noting the Mars colony’s growing demands for political autonomy and environmental concerns surrounding mining in the Kuiper belt...Hmm. Possibly not. Commentators and journalists have a tendency to get rather carried away with predictions involving technology.

The year 2025 will bring changes in the realms of legal technology and AI, but will not perhaps be as futuristic a landscape as popular culture would have you believe. Law has traditionally been a conservative profession rooted in tradition. However, various legal start-ups over the last twenty years or so have generated increased use of technology in the industry, with many large firms now using and developing their own tools. Despite its previous reputation, these developments have ensured that law has been amiably escorted - as opposed to dragged kicking and screaming - into the 21st century.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is exactly what it says it is. It aims to simulate human thought processes in a computerised model. The computer can be taught to recognise certain patterns, by a machine learning process. AI has the advantageous lack of the human need for sleep and a largely diurnal working day (with exceptions for the odd red-eyed corporate lawyer). It has a variety of applications. AI search tools are used to analyse legal data on a huge scale, and create knowledge bases far beyond the capabilities of a manual worker. Contract analysis is another significant area for AI. Lawyers can use it to identify risks and break down a contract into manageable sections for further review. This can be hugely helpful in M&A deals with countless contracts to review.

New opportunities arrive alongside new challenges, and the legal industry is no stranger to this. Firms are already threatened by the steady rise of in-house counsel, and large accountancy firms providing legal services. Firms seek to bring down costs and increase efficiency in making themselves attractive to clients. AI allows them to do this, and its use will increase in the run up to 2025. Just as use of the internet, email and other technological developments has become commonplace, within the next five years more smaller law firms will be using AI.

It is likely that given another decade or so AI will be used in these small firms as often as basic electronic filing systems. In 2025 firms will employ far more legal engineers. With AI handling monotonous and lengthy review tasks lawyers will be free to focus on more complex projects, and the key role of advising their clients. Ultimately, AI could never replace this role, and should be seen as an augmenting tool for lawyers, not a competitor. A winning combination of man and machine - if you want to get poetic about it." </a>

  

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